All That Jazz: Doreen Ketchens

clarinet, jazz, New Orleans Jazz

Heading into New Orleans, Troy and I had 3 big goals – eat lots of delicious food, walk around the French Quarter and listen to Doreen Ketchens in person. Hailed as ‘Queen Clarinet’ and “The female Louis Armstrong,” Doreen does things with her clarinet that I didn’t even know were possible!  I mean, New Orleans is known for it’s amazing jazz music, but I guarantee that you haven’t heard anything quite like Doreen’s music before.

Doreen and her band have traveled the world, played for 4 US Presidents and still continue to play in the French Quarter for free almost every weekend. Their main mission is to educate the world about the culture and tradition of New Orleans music. Of course, donations are always welcome or you can pick up a CD to listen to on your way home.

Our first attempt at finding Doreen and her band in the French Quarter was a complete bust. It wasn’t until we completely gave up that we just randomly happened upon her on Royal Street. Our timing was perfect! The band was just preparing for the show, which gave us time to get front row (sidewalk) seats and buy a couple of CDs for Troy’s partner at work. Then we settled in for an awesome show complete with dancing courtesy of the drunk homeless man who loved the limelight. He tried to make friends with everybody! It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

Here is one of my favorite pieces:

What do you think of Doreen and her band? Did you know a clarinet could do that?! 

  • Lindsay T.

    What!! Doreen is amazing that is SO cool!!! I want to go to NOLA so bad!

    • Eternally WanderLyn

      NOLA was on my bucket list, so I was thrilled that I got to go! I hope you get to go soon. When you do, make sure to find Doreen! :)

  • Jess

    Wow, I did not see that coming! Sounds just like NOLA. I hope you ate lots of beignets – I miss Cafe du Monde and the messy delicious sugar that got everywhere!!

    • Eternally WanderLyn

      NOLA was amazing!!! I think I’d gain 10 lbs just living in New Orleans with all that delicious food, including beignets. LOL

  • Pamela @ Sequins & Sea Breezes

    So jealous! NOLA is on my bucket list as well! Glad you guys got to go and were able to find Doreen!!

    <3, Pamela

    • Eternally WanderLyn

      I hope you get to go soon! It’s an awesome city with so much to do. :)

  • SMD @ Life According to Steph

    Amazing! MFD is a huge fan of jazz, I’ll have to ask him if he encountered her when he was in NOLA. He’s been there and it’s not high on my list, so I’m not sure when I’ll get there. Thanks for sharing!

    • Eternally WanderLyn

      If he hasn’t seen her, he should check out some more of her videos on Youtube. She’s really popular! I’m glad that he was able to enjoy a trip to NOLA.

  • lisacng @

    That’s pretty amazing because all I know about clarinets is they squeeked a lot in high school band ;). So glad you got to enjoy all 3 goals in New Orleans. It’s one of the places I’d like to visit. I want some creole food and crawfish!

    • Eternally WanderLyn

      Oh, there is amazing food everywhere! I swear I gained 10 lbs in New Orleans. LOL.

  • Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

    I love NOLA. I can’t wait to take Sam there some day! x

    • Eternally WanderLyn

      I loved it too! It’s such a great place. :)

  • Tricia’s Mostly Healthy Life

    How absolutely amazing! I’ve been twice and have not seen her either time. I will have to put it on the to do list. I just love it.

    • Eternally WanderLyn

      It was my first time and I loved it! We were lucky to have been introduced to her music by Troy’s coworker, who’s a big jazz fan. :)

  • Tiffany Hutto

    How fun! The food and music Sound amazing. Thanks for sharing,


    • Eternally WanderLyn

      They were amazing! I’m still craving some of that cajun and creole food. :)